Former Duluth officer of year charged in hit-and-run

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A former Duluth police Officer of the Year is accused of twice backing his personal car into an unoccupied parked vehicle in a lot outside a bar and leaving the scene, the Duluth News Tribune. He was off duty at the time, the newspaper reports. No one was hurt.

Officer Brian Jones, a 15-year member of the Duluth department, was charged by the Lake County Attorney’s Office in Two Harbors with the misdemeanor, the newspaper reports. The case was referred to Lake County to avoid a conflict of interest in Duluth.

Jones, who was a Minneapolis officer for two years before he joined the Duluth department (he was Police Officer of the Year in 2006), admits he made a mistake and is apologetic, the News Tribune reported.

“I am grateful the damage was minimal and that no one was hurt,” Jones said. “The charge is appropriate and fair, and I intend to take responsibility for what I did."

A maximum penalty would be 90 days in jail and a $1,000 fine. He was placed on administrative leave after the incident last month but is back on the job.

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